Thursday, February 20, 2020

Killing words

Stories and News No. 1190
 
They said that the pen kill more than the sword.
It is probably true, even if today we have slightly lost its use. In our time we simply type keys, paying more or less attention to what we write, often forgetting what we said a second later.
However, this epochal change does not diminish the power of words at all. Indeed, paradoxically it has led us to underestimate its weight and consequences, in the short and long term. But the accountability, or the guilt, remains and someone will have to give us an answer about them, sooner or later.
Because words may kill. Literally. They translate crazy thoughts and terrifying intentions.
Like when Tobias Rathien, the man who murdered eleven people and seriously injuring four others in Hanau, Germany, declared that some people we are unable to expel must be exterminated.

But words are like the grains of sand on which we run in the summer. We unfortunately share them as every atom of the earth that hosts us, from which we come to light and, at the end of the day called life, we will return. Light or chaotic they transit between each one of us, from the rich to the poor, from the old to the young, from the presumed equal citizen to the necessarily different stranger, like invisible molecules of an air that we make year after year more irrespirable.
Before getting to seriously erase other people's lives, these are words that divide and hurt, like those of Matteo Salvini when he says that there are too many foreigners, asking more space for Italian kids, and when he adds that since there are 1.5 million Muslims in Italy, there would therefore be almost 50,000 potential terrorists among us.
These are words that discriminate and offend, like those of Donald Trump, who claims that (Mexicans) are not our friends, they bring drugs and crime, that people arriving in the US from Haiti have AIDS and those from Nigeria should go back to their huts in Africa.
These are words that intend to scare the most impressionable creatures and foment the most vulnerable souls, such as those of Marine Le Pen when she exclaims: "We say no to this immigration that submerges our countries and endangers the security of our peoples, of our bank accounts, of our values of civilization. We want to live in our countries as we want: in France as French, in Italy as Italians."
In one word, these are racist words, like those of Viktor Orbán when he declares that in the country he governs we do not need migrants, but Hungarian children.
These are ignorant, but above all infamous words, like those of Boris Johnson, who is convinced that since we have to legalize gay marriage, then I see nothing wrong with legalizing marriages between three men, or between three men and a dog. Before arguing that the children of single mothers are illegitimate.
These are words that exclude and discriminate in a completely inhuman way, like the ones of Geert Wilders when he wishes a Holland for Henk and Ingrid, not for Ahmed and Fatima.
Or even simply idiotic words, but no less dangerous, like those of Nigel Farage, when without any shame he says that women are worth less, it is right they earn less, they have the maternity pause.
These and many others are words that maybe do not kill, but are the result of a rotten and poisonous fruit of powerful leaders, most of them guide entire nations and sow hatred and feed hardships in millions of people.
They are a fundamental part of the same ignoble speech that leads to the extermination of innocent lives.
Do you know what is the most grotesque and disturbing aspect of this scenario? We have already seen it in past centuries, starting with the last one...


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Thursday, February 13, 2020

The day without observances

Stories and News No. 1189
 
Today is the thirteenth of February.
We are in the middle of the day, which refers to as many observances to remember and give homage.
In fact, today is the Children's Day in Myanmar and the Radio Day in the world.
Reflecting on the past, on mistakes, especially where these are sinful sins, is a fundamental matter. The first ingredient inside the bricks with which to compose the road that, hopefully, will lead us to a better future.
Nonetheless, raising my head and aiming a hopeful look at the horizon awaiting us, I cannot help but dream of myself there, beyond the obstacles and above all the walls that prevent us from seeing where we are wrong now, even before passing.
There must be an instant, down there, in which some victories against our current backwardness have been obtained so definitively as to be useless and even ridiculous to talk about it.
Solid points of living together that we will not need to recall them. As if today we should decide to celebrate the Day against human sacrifices, the one against the ius primae noctis or the Day of cesarean section.
Let's try to dream together, then. Close your eyes, take my hand and let's jump forward, with the hope of not having to go too far.
On that updated version of our planet, perhaps within the confines of this same millennium, we will no longer feel the need to commemorate the

victims of the Holocaust, because we will have perfectly understood not only the atrocity and madness of genocide, but above all the dangerous as undervalued assumptions that preceded it.
On that normal day, we will not wait for Women's Day because for the latter it will finally be worth the same and identical reason for which there is no one dedicated to men. And we will apply the same concept with regard to violence against women.
In that radiant future, of which I envy the inhabitants, there will be no Day against Bullying, since we will have identified and dealt with the causes. And we will see the Day against homophobia as that relating to an incredibly absurd fear, like seeing the stars falling on us or that the sun disappearing at any moment.
Earth Day will then be remembered, but as the most illogical of all. Otherwise, how stupid could be a species that must remember to care for its planet?
Peace would be the main objective, everywhere and at all times, so shared that celebrating it would be like praising the need to breathe.
The Day against racism will be anachronistic stuff, since the alleged races, the overrated shades of complexion and somatic characteristics, will be so nuanced that we will have taken the decision to delete terms such as racism and discrimination from the vocabulary, to give space to new, essential and vital words, still hidden under the skin that divides instead of uniting us.
We will have put together so many miles of intuitions and reasoning between the concept of war and its incongruous foundation as a solution, to celebrate the Day against it for the very last time.
We will not be perfect or even gods, we will live a mortal and still short life, if compared to the infinity that surrounds us, but we will have stopped setting the Day of social justice and that of children's rights on the calendar.
As with the human sacrifices mentioned above, we will have once and for all rendered the Day against child labor useless. Do you realize that we are in 2020 and we look with a sense of superiority to the people of the past, while we still have to remember that making children work is wrong? And that selling human beings as if they were objects is ignoble action?
In that bright time when you and I will hover, even if only for a short time, instead, everything will be different and much will have been overcome.
We will have stopped making justice for someone who committed a crime, committing the same crime, since we will have abolished the Day against the death penalty, after having eliminated the latter.
It will be a mere matter of human evolution, normal achievements, which will take away the task of having to celebrate the Day of zero tolerance towards female genital mutilation or that for the abolition of slavery.
Solidarity and water, freedom of the press and the environment, human and elderly rights, all this will be a daily priority and no longer a newspaper headline, recycled from the previous year, or the pretext for an effective slogan only during the dedicated anniversary.
They will be discounted and fundamental themes for real, like washing your hands when you you’re back from school or work, even if there is a day for this too.
Well, now that we have to reopen our eyes, think about how nice it would be to raise our eyelids in that possible future and to the question ‘what day is today’ to answer: it is an ordinary one, a day like many others.
It's today, but it's called tomorrow.


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Thursday, February 6, 2020

How are you?

Stories and News No. 1188
 
Hey? You’re welcome, here.
Yes, I’m talking to you, not everybody, of course, but in this case I said you, even if in general.
You, who scream or whisper, posting and chirping, sideways or secretly observing.
Take a seat.
Imagine that I am a friend or a kind of shrink, although maybe I’m neither.
What did you say?
No, I'm not kidding at all, I'm serious, despite everything.
Sit down, come on.
Let's talk.
That is, speak, let all come out, do it now, please.
Tell me, then, let's start with the classic.




What was your childhood like?
You had your hard times, didn't you?
Problems with dad? Misunderstandings with mom?
Domineering brothers? Little affectionate sisters?
Are you an only child?
Was the affection missing?
Unleash yourself without fear, really, stop living in fright, you can no longer take all this concern.
Aren't you tired too?
Come on, then, let's move on.
There was something bad during adolescence? Look, it's a tough time for everyone, you know?
The first radical transformations, physical and emotional, it is a leap into the void without parachutes for anyone, believe me.
Classmates? Difficulty with peers in school? Or maybe with the teachers? Have they been too hard on you?
Did you socialize in those years? How did it go with your relatives? Cousins, aunts, grandparents... what is the relationship with the latter?
Was there enough dialogue in your family in the years of growth?
It is important to have at least one reference adult to confide in, as a child, it is universal.
What were your models?
Did I get it? Is the flaw there?
Sorry, forgive me, but I seriously want us to go further and face the real problems.
Yours, obviously.
Do you understand me? The time has come to start looking in the mirror and take your responsibilities.
In fact, the moment would have come a long time ago... but I'm not here to polemicize.
I want to help you, I'm sincere.
Was it hard to find your place in the world?
How did it end up with your studies? How far have you come? Beyond the importance of receiving adequate education, school is the first test for many personal aspects that will come into play in every area, such as the way we face the imposed goals of society and we react to constraints and predefined structures.
Hobby? Passions? Has there ever been anything after the duties that particularly attracted you? Gratified? Involved body and soul?
Nothing?
What about the job side? Do you have one? And in such a case, do you feel fulfilled in what you do? Are you satisfied with the compensation? The role?
What about the relationship with the place of work and colleagues? Are you happy to go there or can't you wait to go home?
What occupies your time for most of the week, whether it's school, rather than work, or what you do or don't do at home, has enormous, I would say almost absolute, influence on your state of mind and your mainly recurring thoughts.
How is your love life?
Do you care for someone? Are your feelings matched? Do you live with people you get along with? Do you feel esteemed, considered, respected?
Heard?
All this also has a significant weight on your life, in every moment.
How do you see your near future?
And the far one?
Do you have dreams? It is essential – pay attention to it, to have something stimulating and exciting on the horizon, at any age.
In short, when you arrive at the end of the day and close your eyes, do you have concrete reasons to appreciate the idea of opening them the day after?
...
Sorry for all these questions, you know, but they were a must. They are and always will be. They are crucial for anyone, anywhere, from the beginning to the end of our days.
Because if at least one answer causes you suffering or any kind of unease, well, please stop focusing your attention on migrants, foreigners in general, other religions or different sexual orientations, in other words, different creatures from you in any aspect.
In the case dilemmas with painful solutions are more than one, the advice is more than double. In fact, to be honest, if you sometimes need to talk about someone other than yourself, shut up, look inside, and try to get better.
Trust me on this, it would be good for you and billions of other human beings...


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Thursday, January 30, 2020

Who are the racists?

Stories and News No. 1187
 
We are in the kitchen of a normal apartment, sheltered by a very ordinary door, maybe next to yours.
Inside there is a father and a son like many others.
Or perhaps, like some very precise ones, because of an overestimated crossing of lights and electromagnetic radiation called skin colour.
The two are at dinner. Mom is still at work, but she will be back soon and everything will be back in place.
In the meantime, the man does what he can.
"Dad?" Says the boy, ten years of curiosity and desire to go beyond the unspoken.
"Yes, Ephrem."
"Who are the racists?"
"We've already talked about it, I remember."
To be honest, the man is right, since the unavoidable topic had already been addressed some months ago. Blessed is the family that enjoys the benefit of postponing or even avoiding the most uncomfortable conversations.
"No, Dad, I'm not saying the meaning of racism, the other time you talked about it for an hour..."
"Sorry, but it's an important thing, right?"
"Yes, right, but... you know, when I’m out at school, on the basketball yard or at the park, well, there is a fact that I have not understood..."
"Ephrem", exclaims the father immediately attentive, finally giving up his fork. "Did something happen to you? Please, tell me..."
Also the child abandons his pasta and – a typical feature of his personal set of gestures, he frowns and crosses his arms on his chest in an almost adult way.
“I don't understand. Everyone, the teacher, the coach, even my classmates, movies and cartoons, the books that they make us read and those that you and mommy bought me, they all say that racism is a wrong thing, there those advertise too... those with good purpose..."
"Do you mean public service announcement?"
“Yes, and then there are also those videos with

actors, rock stars and even football players, they all seem to be against racism. So why are there still racists around? Who are them?"
The father is moved not by one, but a whole fleet of different and contrasting emotions and sensations. Among them, he is impressed and also proud of his son's depth of thought, but at the same time he is also frightened. Because if his test as a parent turns out to be like that when Ephrem is just ten years old, what will he be asked in the days to come?
Nonetheless, the man has a weapon to his advantage and it regards the presumed chromatic peculiarity mentioned above that he shares with his child. Despite at different times, he had the identical opportunity to confront the same doubts and after reflecting calmly he tries to answer in the least rhetorical possible way.
“You see, Ephrem, maybe you’re not going to hear what I am about to tell you, out of here. So, consider it as a sort of personal dictionary with which to identify people who – despite without openly confessing it, they discriminate others basing their beliefs on how they are made or what their origins are. As you have just explained, most of our fellow citizens hardly describe themselves as racist. Let’s say never, okay? But at the same time, often with pride, they admit it using other definitions. Well, many of the latter are just further ways to declare their racism without being criticized. "
"Can you give me some examples?"
"Examples?" Exclaims the man before letting out a short laugh escape. “I have plenty of them. You know, in this country, you can be nationalist but not fascist, secessionist but not necessarily patriotic, etc., but everyone has one thing in common. "
"Which one?"
“They are all racists, Ephrem, underneath, or in a perfectly consequential way. But they don't have enough courage or honesty to say it. Thus, they hide behind accepted and nowadays even praised words, despite the fact that in the past they have even been associated with terrible persons. "
"What words are you talking about, dad?"
What should be a normal speech of a father to his son, inevitably becomes a kind of heartfelt and very much attended outburst.
“I’m talking about the nationalist, who venerates borders and walls, with which to keep people necessarily different away from him. The so-called sovereignist, who obviously prefers the idea of being able to do what he wants within the shelter of the aforementioned lines on the map, or to behave with impunity as an intolerant towards foreigners. What is the identitarian, Ephrem, if not someone who has got an extreme need to catalog people basing on superficial and marginal criteria such as skin? What do you think the conservative wants to keep intact if not the right to feel superior to others? Just as the traditionalist would do everything to avoid losing his unjust birth privileges. The patriot stands as a bulwark of his land and State, but in reality he’s thinking about the favorite features he sees every day in the mirror. Not to mention the capitalist, who we could consider one of the founding fathers of racism, see the latter as one of his most successful tools to possess the goods and means that he has seized with a fraud called private property. And what about the nativist, the worshiper of the birth certificate as an element of distinction, that is, a racist on paper? Obviously, the authoritarian, who invokes the strong man who will allow him to insult and bully the people without legal permission. I could add, of course, fascist and dictatorial, colonialist and warmonger. They are all racists in complementary but coherent ways. But in your opinion, in our country, from who the secessionist wants to separate if not those whom he considers inferior? And the anti globalist? Do you think that that he wants to keep away Korean mobile phones and Japanese cars, or the wretched people that his own country he has contributed to making so? The isolationist will not close before great TV series or German beer, but only in front of the hand that rightly asks for help, if not restitution. This is where the protectionist was born, in the urgent need to assist the stolen goods. That's where the negationist and the revisionist come from, from the desire to hide their visceral racism exposed by history..."
Well, only at this point the father realizes that his son is having a hard time following him, even though at the beginning he understood the essence of his reasoning.
"Forgive me, Ephrem, I lost myself a little..."
"Yes, dad, almost like the last time," confirms the boy relaxing and showing an understanding smile. "When you talked for an hour."
At that moment they hear the beloved sound of the key. Good news, mom is back.
The woman enters the kitchen and after saying goodbye to both she notices an unexpected silence.
"Are you all right?" She asks curious.
"All right," replies Ephrem making everyone happy. "Dad just explained to me that there are many racists around us, but precisely since they are racists they are afraid to admit it and then they hide behind other words."
"Really?" Asks the woman to her husband with a doubtful expression.
"Almost", says the man fondling his son's curly head affectionately and with renewed pride. "But I hope one day to have his ease in understanding and above all telling things."


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Thursday, January 23, 2020

Let's not hurt each other too much

Stories and News No. 1186
 
Maybe it's because now I have more white hair in my head than just gray.
Maybe it's because I prefer the surprise, the real freshness, than what I have already read and seen.
Maybe because the more time passes, the more I focus my attention on the glass itself, rather than swinging between the full and the empty part.
Or maybe, I just have a great desire to go beyond the actual news and observe the whole long-range story, taking advantage of the vision of the past in the precious rear-view mirror called memory, before even in my case it starts to falter.
By way of example, think about so called leaders like Donald Trump, Putin or our Matteo Salvini.
Right now, in the heart of the live broadcast, for many everything seems normal.
Since their arrival on the public scenario they did or told so many crazy things, but each time we suddenly became used to that.
In a few words, it happens, so it is normal.
Like it was normal, in their time, the things people like Hitler or Stalin did e said.
However, escaping a moment to take refuge on this page, sheltered from unfortunately contemporary conventions, when we look each other in the eyes we will perfectly remember that there is nothing normal in all of that, then and now.

Indeed, what we should think about with more care is the fundamental outline, rather than the protagonists.
Not just them, but all the people who work and live around them.
All those who know inside that there is nothing normal, but it's okay, because that's what it is right now.
Do you know what? I will be guilty of naivety, but I am convinced that as more or less intimately aware of the absurdity of the moment, the support this kind of leaders is getting is not something absolute.
Those are not real votes, but rather screams, spits and regurgitations, what their leaders have invoked since they came out on the field. They were not the first and will not be the last.
But like their predecessors, you will see – I am ready to bet what you want, they will also fall down and the more they will continue to make noise, the more their defeat will be thunderous. It won't be tomorrow and the next day, but it will happen soon, trust me.
Immediately afterwards things will get a little more normal again, not entirely, because it has never happened and will never do, knowing us.
Still, it will not last long, because over time another profiteer of malaise and ignorance will emerge, capable of moving the level of decency even lower, and he will win.
But I'm sure, in the end he will fall too.
And so on, hoping that in the meantime we would deal more radically with the world environment and our species.
Hoping that in the meantime we won't hurt each other too much...


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Thursday, January 16, 2020

The world through the world

Stories and News No. 1185
 
Once upon a time the world.
The one as we saw it as children, when everything we look at with our tiny eyes was already infinite, let alone what we still ignored and fantasized about.
Then things changed. They say it's the age that changes us. I believe other people do, more than time. The mechanical turn of the hands has never affected our history. The human beings that flow by us unexpectedly, at times illogical and often violent, but sometimes capable of incalculable tenderness, are the ones to influence our future, second by second.
One of the most decisive aspects regarding choices and thoughts, the feelings on which to focus the heart and which emotions to keep away from the intellect, it’s the screen through which we observe the world.
It is not always the same and probably that’s right. Every look, in each chapter of our personal story, needs the appropriate filter. The metaphorical glasses to look at the best, here and now, are chosen by searching the image that intrigues us, that is capable of making us think, but what our pupils will not stop craving with absolute priority are the plots able to give us relief from the pains accumulated since the first cry.
All of this could be summarized in “the world through which we observe the world”.

In a moment of conscious clarity, thinking that in

the most privileged corners of the planet – from where I write these words of mine – we prefer to contemplate life beyond us through a cold monitor, regardless of the resolution and the number of inches, it makes me sad.

Because there was a time that we can't forget, during which we watch everything with our own eyes. And because a huge number of our fellow humans on earth, by accident or by bad luck, sometimes due to our ignorant responsibility, are forced to scrutinize their surroundings through many other windows.

Like the lines that intertwined with each other
make up a cell, despite the prisoners are guilty of nothing but survival.

Like the smoke of the fire that burns and destroys, fragment after fragment, the perfect dream of a naive planet.

Like sea water that in an unnatural way, but we
should say inhuman, it replaces the sky and the latter is canceled from the story, as if it had never existed.
And maybe it would have been better so.

Like a blanket of dust that tastes of poverty, misery but still hope, in which we should have the honesty to enter, before talking about who lives there, or worse, they were born.

Like the space above a wall, the vital cracks and
the precious holes in it, which denounce its weakness and, hopefully, madness.

Like tears, but not temporary ones, which come and go in the same way as the rainy seasons, in a form of a perennial veil of inalienable sadness. For for some, remembering means having respect for pain, so that posterity will keep both intact.
And so on looking.

Nonetheless, thanks to the gift or deception from the magic called technology, in the world I live we may have the feeling of looking at everything on the comfortable and reassuring side of a transparent screen.
It doesn't hurt, in fact.
But once the spell is extinguished, we should remember that the world through the world is really out there, living or dying, yearning or rejoicing, with a fast beating heart before the imminent danger or with the arms in the sky in front of the windfall called fresh and clean water.
Maybe, every now and then, we should find an opportunity to rely only on them.
Our simple eyes from the past, and see the world through them again.


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Thursday, January 9, 2020

The weight of small numbers

Stories and News No. 1184
 
Once we called it the law of large numbers.
Today, it is the slavery of exaggerations.
It is a consequence, after all. One of the most uncomfortable contraindications of the unbridled rush to approximation of our lies.
Because many of us live on lies, today. Often venial, sometimes more serious, but that’s Internet, we’re on a social media, then I could delete, right? Indeed, that’s something better: I may write another one! And so on. Moved by the illusion of really going away.
And yet, at the dawn of the new year, I still like to see it as a story.
The fable of small numbers, of course.
Which hardly get the front page of the news and it is understandable. There are many examples: to make noise we need to be many, to be truly

successful, a prize is not enough, but a lot, and to attract the gaze of the average reader you need at least thousands of pixels, otherwise he doesn’t even believe the truth.
Give me the biggest number you have, that is the question and the answer comes, without sources, without heart and restraint.
Like more than 180 arsonists invented to deny climate change in Australia.
Or at least 80 dead soldiers bragged to prove that the war has being waged at least in two, and not a single planet against itself.
Nothing out of the ordinary, it's been the rule so far and maybe we got used to that too, I think.
I refer to the number of people protesting that night basing on the retouched photo, rather than the usual confirmations from the police headquarters.
I am talking about of how much he or she earns, it doesn't matter who, it doesn't matter why, as long as we can follow them on Instagram or Twitter and get into the light that emanates from those perfect creatures, as the ancient Greeks did with the gods of Olympus.
Of course, how not to mention the amount of followers and likes.
The number of bytes of memory on the new processor inside the new cellphone that does the same things as the old one, but more quickly, can you believe it?
The speed of the new city car from the new car maker, fusion of the usual old two houses, which does the same things as your first car, but more quickly, can you see it?
The figures on prime time ratings, even if traditional TV becomes every day more a household appliance of the last century.
However, there are also striking quantities that are consciously ignored.
It is the theory of relativity of consciousness, where the only reference system that matters does not cross the boundary of our apartment.
How many refugees died drowned last year trying to touch the shore closest to their illusions, rather than their hopes?
How many people suffer from hunger and thirst between one solidarity marathon and another?
How many lives are torn from the world like leaves by the wind in non-marketable attacks and how many more are there, now, on the edge of the ravine, between the end and one of the many, possible continuations on the path of a fragile survival?
Well, I said at the beginning, it's true. The risk of becoming accustomed to the common doing is high, because this comes from the overload of connection between our virtual versions.
Nevertheless, sometimes, we can still make our own independent choices.
I dare say ancient, but I don't want to seem older than I am.
To dwell on the one, instead of the many, or even all of them.
Like a boy getting on a plane in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, Africa.
To sit down, so to speak, on the only place guaranteed to those like him, small and negligible numbers.
His latest class, more than first, second or even third: the undercarriage.
He leaves, but he will never arrived in Paris. Not him, not what could have been and nothing of what he would have written with his life that we will never read.
Close your eyes now, open your hands to the sky and imagine with me that boy in your arms.
If you feel the weight, all the incalculable weight, despite the noise of the vast and abundant rest, well, I would be inclined to believe that maybe there is still some hope for humanity...


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Thursday, December 12, 2019

The migrant revolution

Stories and News No. 1183
 
This is a fairy tale, nothing to do with everyday life, that is hard to many and easy only to a few. Nevertheless, you will see that sooner or later everything will happen for real.


Once upon a time our beloved and troubled planet.
Once upon a time we, then as today, and probably tomorrow too.
Once upon a time there were also employees at the gates of the afterlife, ushers, security officers, or simple hostesses and stewards responsible for transit.
That day they were in great turmoil and never, since the beginning of time, the threat of a strike had been more possible.
The situation had become unsustainable and paradoxical.
At that moment, the workers responsible for the last of the human boundaries, perhaps the only one that really makes sense, felt intolerance and disbelief towards us.
Perhaps because there had been a time when they had been alive, exactly like us, and once they had passed away they had realized how much weight our dullness had. Unable to solve the problem on their own, they asked the older of them for help. As far as he had seen strange things, he did not have the suitable answer able to unblock the regrettable stalemate in which the process of ferrying souls had jammed.
Thus, though weary and limping, he got up and promised to raise the issue with his immediate superiors. I refer to the God of Christians and Allah, his prophet Muhammad and obviously Jesus, as well as Yahweh, the complete Hindu trimurti, Brahmā, Vishnu and Shiva, but also Confucius, the various deities of Taoism, Daoism, Shintoism and any other religion.
The problem was that the gods, all gods pleaded and worshiped since the first human being had seen the light, didn't show up around since a lot. They had been locked up in the conclave to argue heatedly, and the reasons were unknown to their subordinates.
The truth was that an increasingly growing group within the divine parliament – often fueled by obvious fake news, made and shrewdly spread by the diabolical tenant of the floor below – was tired of humans and proposed a definitive mass extinction. Maybe taking advantage of the consequences of global warming.
After all, it was the thought of many, they wrote their end.
However, the old clerk had a job to do. He knocked on the sacred door and after at least an hour of bows, and various demonstrations of reverence, he managed to speak.
"Your Gods," exclaimed the old man. "I could try to explain in words what's going on out here, but I think the best thing is that you see it all with your almighty eyes."
The ever-aged official preceded the various gods to the outside, and once they arrived at the entrance to the beyond, they realized what had happened.
A huge row of people, of which none of them could see the beginning, despite the perfection of their respective looks, crowded the road that led to the gates of hell.
"What's happening?" Asked one of the gods. "Who are those?"
"They are immigrants," replied the old man.
"And what are their sins?" Another asked.
"They don’t have any," explained the oldest of the humans present. "But as long as they were alive, humanity did everything to make them think of being guilty of migration, and each one of them, once he died, went to hell, even if he didn't deserve it at all."
"You will not let them in, I hope..." another god asked him.
"Certainly not," the clerk declared. "But the problem of clogging remains, even if the situation is much more tangled. Taking advantage of that, there is no longer anyone who deserves the hell to go in. With the result that the worst people, those really bad, petty or chronically selfish, they do not die and remain on earth as living mummies to accumulate wealth of which they no longer even feel better."
"What about paradise?" Intervened another divinity. "Who are those smiling guys at the gates of heaven, with trolleys, flip-flops and sunglasses?"
"Well... because of your absence on earth, they have corrupted the final judgment for the benefit of a privileged minority."
"But they are always the good ones, right?"
"No, it's just the ones that feel good and you all know better than me that it's never the same thing."
The gods were confused and perplexed, while proponents of the early extinction of mankind became even more compact in their hopes. The most reluctant were finally about to give in and agree too with the extreme solution, when a little girl turned away from the crowd on the road to hell, she passed the safety cordon unseen and reached the solemn heavenly assembly without fear. Difficult to have it after seeing death in the face at such a young age.
"I have a proposal," said the child in a ringing voice.
"Speak", one of the gods invited her.
"Since my brothers and I quarreled every night for those who should have been sleeping next to mom, she solved it with great intelligence."
"What did she do?" The old man asked.
"She told us that there is only one way to make justice and please everyone in this world. The sun and the moon, the stars and even the earth, the mother of all, taught us that."
"What is that?" Asked another god.
"You should know it, I think: to twist the knobs of destiny, when the time has come, and turn the sense of things so that everyone enjoys their moment in which to appreciate the value of light, like darkness. I mean, we took turns. Many mortals need a whole existence to understand it. But for you it should be the consequence of a simple gesture."
At that precise moment every creature, perfect or not, had a clear idea of what had to be done to put things back in order.
There followed a snap of divine fingers, a beat of eternal hands or transcendent eyelashes, even a mere unearthly glance and the device on which the entire afterlife was held was activated. A moment later, the holiest and fairest of the rotations took place.
A few seconds later, there was a big party among the immigrants and screams of joy went around everywhere, from the last earth border to all the universe itself. Because they found themselves in front of the gates of paradise.
At the same time, the thin line of elegant tourists with self-praised conscience were instead expected to hell.
"It's not fair!" Someone dared to protest.
"You don't know who you're dealing with," someone else yelled.
"You will hear news from my lawyer," another one threatened.
While the gods observed the scene satisfied, and the girl child was overwhelmed of hugs and thanks from the crowd, the old man immediately went back to work and joined the employees in charge of managing the damned.
"Guys, let's do it," he announced, pulling up his sleeves. "I am convinced that the revolution is not over here. I think at these turnstiles we will see endless swarms of alleged smart people who have not the faintest idea what awaits them at the end of the story..."


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Thursday, December 5, 2019

Racism in the Black Friday of Italian football

Stories and News No. 1182
 
Italy football newspaper Corriere dello Sport presented the upcoming match between Inter and Roma with an infamous title.
Here is how the editor, Ivan Zazzaroni, explains that: “Whites, blacks, Yellow. Denying the

difference is the typical macroscopic stumbling block of anti-racism’s racism. Black Friday, to those who want and can understand it, was and is only the praise of difference, the pride of difference, the magnificent wealth of difference.”

Well… I have a different opinion about what a difference is.
Lukaku and Smalling. The former is a striker. One who craves the goal. Who tries to see the net dancing thanks to its own aim, his strength or even the luck of having succeeded in defeating his greatest enemy, the last guardian and protector of the result until proven otherwise. In short, the goalkeeper.
The latter is a defender. One that prevents the goal. Who tries to keep the friendly door safe with his quick reflexes, through dedication to the cause, or just the good fortune of being at the right moment in the perfect place. To finally win against his main opponent. The hostile ram, the tip of the antagonist spear. In one word, the striker.
Chris Smalling and Romelu Lukaku, facing each other.
Chris is an English citizen of Jamaican descent, while the Romelu is Belgian with parents from the Democratic Republic of the Congo. And if you will have the opportunity to meet them one evening at dinner, to listen to the story of their respective childhoods and adolescences, you could find that there are an infinite number of original nuances coming to light from children of immigrants in distinct places in the old continent. Because Antwerp is completely different from the London borough of Greenwich. Because every father, each mother, foreign or not, raises their offspring incomparably. And because we all react according to our own nature to the inclusion or intolerance by others over the doorstep.
Lukaku against Smalling, for one night.
The former is not married and has no children, while the latter has a wife and is a father. Even just for this fundamental aspect, between the two there is an ocean of experiences to divide them.
Among all, the exact moment when you realize that your partner has gave you the gift she was carrying. Because for the first time you see with the naked eye the miracle you have played a small part in and take him – or her – in your arms, hoping to be able to deserve with love and commitment, day after day, to be an accomplice of such a wonder.
Smalling that challenges Lukaku, and the latter accept the fight.
The former lost his father when he was just five years old, while the latter’s dad is still alive and is a former footballer, as is his brother and cousin. So, imagine what it means to take the football field, from an early age, with the certainty that your father will be there every time in the stands, even just beyond the fence of the first pitches of the debut. Or not having it at all, except the hope that somewhere up there, he will find a free cloud to cheer for you.
Lukaku, Smalling, twenty-six years old, the first, thirty the second, which for an athlete is an enormous time. Because in four years and as many seasons you can win everything and lose all. Being celebrated as a champion or whistled as the most resounding loser.
Smalling, was converted to veganism by his partner and Lukaku is a fervent Catholic who went on a pilgrimage to Lourdes, with all that makes life and the daily choices peculiar.
Lukaku lives and plays in Milan, Smalling does the same, but in Rome. And tell me which city citizen of both could say that their experiences are the same.
So on, below, every distinction that can be easily understood and completely relevant becomes evident. Especially if we had the interest and the time to discover the two human beings behind the role, running and kicking a ball on the field or beyond the TV screen.
Suddenly, an infinite quantity of essential and noteworthy aspects would become obvious, a real myriad of significant details, which make two people unique, as many lives and personal stories.
Smalling, Lukaku. Lukaku and Smalling.
If only we could do it, it would certainly not suffice a single post to list how many differences between everyone of us we could praise, recognize as a reason for pride and richness, before arriving at the colour of the skin...


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Thursday, November 28, 2019

The planet of effects without a cause

Stories and News No. 1181
 
Once upon a time there was a planet.
Let's talk about it as if we were in a science fiction story.
One of those that we consider improbable and that sometimes we use to relax, like catastrophic movies or those fails videos, and everyone laughs.
Because we are not the ones who fall.
The planet was very bizarre and the creatures were no less, compactly consistent in defining the common horizon on the basis of a questionable assumption: the relationship of cause and effect is outdated, since what really matters is the latter. Everything else is boring, even if it could save the present, and so the future.
By analogous reasoning, the obtuse extra-inhabitants refused the third law of dynamics, the principle of action and its logical reply.
According to such an unfortunate species, there was only the reaction, period. The origin, the gesture and every initial choice were never on the agenda.
Thus, the ways in which these unconscious guys interpreted life were the following: do they rain entire oceans on the cities? Do temperatures plummet or rise with delusional progression? Do the glaciers melt into tears of burning anger towards the culprits, rather than mere sadness?
It's bad weather, damn.
Do roofs collapse on the lives they should protect? Do voracious chasms eat cars, widely open like insatiable mouths on the busiest roads? Do bridges crumble like helpless truths, replaced by lies with a delayed burst?

Awful accidents, things happen.
Are the acts of intolerance increasing towards the most vulnerable people? Just as insulting phrases towards minorities end up in the limelight by those who should set a good example? Is the discrimination of any kind of discrepancy from the Aryan model a daily matter?
These are difficult times, but today is better than in the past.
Does the party of non-voters grow from election to election, in a transversal and transnational way? Has the lack of confidence in the political class been suspended by the stock market due to an excess of upside? On the other hand, is the intellectual and moral level of the contenders at the helm of the democratic ship so low as to become irrelevant inside the electoral round?
That's what people want, and people are always right.
Are the populations escaping from hell soaring, in search of the paradise that has been stolen from them? Are there fear and isolation in the countries most suspected of this unjust crime? Are the direct descendants of the guilty institutions working as bulwark to defend the threatened homeland?
It's normal, we can't all be happy.
Telling the truth, only a few enjoyed this privilege, and every day less, but as they used to say on the planet of the effect without a cause, that’s what it is. Take or leave. So, take it, quick. Grab all you can and keep going.
Until the inevitable conclusion: have our incautious settlements been submerged by the waves driven by the current stupidity? Have fires devoured any trace of the passage of the most masochistic entity in the universe? Didn't war and climate change yet understand who had the credit for our destruction?
In short, are we extinct?
It was destiny, we’ll see next time.
Too bad, though, that the story is over...


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Thursday, November 21, 2019

The dream of the viewer voter user nationalist

Stories and News No. 1180
 
Thanks.
Thank you, beloved television.
Thanks, dear internet.
Thanks to you all, precious social networks.
Thank you, Bush senior, for paving the way.
Thanks to your great son, George W. Bush, for still having the courage to show himself in public, despite the large quantity of gaffes with which you have made yourself noticed over the years.
But above all, thanks to you, Donald Trump.
I look at you in the firmament of my idols and, finally, I no longer feel any embarrassment for what I am.
I had a dream, you know, my saviors? Yes, just like the leader par excellence, the one who was babbling about human rights while getting three meals a day at tax payers' expense at that famous Birmingham hotel, as a friend of mine told me on Facebook.
I looked at myself in the mirror and got depressed. Not for the appearance, which is a subjective discourse, but for what I felt.
I felt uneasy before those left-wing snobs, only because I never read books, except those that forced me to study at school.
They made me feel inferior with their glances from the top down, only because my vocabulary is scarce and my English poor.
They act like superiors everywhere, on the street and in the workplace, because I am not able to understand their openness to new things and diversity.
What's wrong with being closed? What is the mistake in not wanting to evolve? Why are we not free to always remain with the same ideas in mind?
I often fought with such questions and didn't come out. Also because I kept them for myself, afraid of being mocked or humiliated.
For this reason I have always stayed away from the typical venues of those presumptuous. Never entered a theater. Barely in a library. Rarely, very seldom, in a museum. It was a necessary life choice, I needed to protect myself.
For the time that was, at this moment I have to thank you, the adoptive mother of us all, dear TV.
You welcomed me and defended me. You comforted me when I needed it and I found love and a people to be part of: the viewers.
Being accepted was what I wanted, but Fox News gave me even more.
They chose me as their favorite son. How could I not do the same and join the ranks of George's voters when he needed me?
Then, at the end of the last century, the dream suddenly became a nightmare. God, mine, is dead, or almost. Riddled by the moralistic bullets of the hypocrisy snipers. But at the same time, alongside the decomposition of the messiah of us all, mediocre for ambition, the true promised land began to appear on the horizon.
Internet, which should be blessed forever. At the beginning I was wary, because the words were strange and complicate, and computers weren't like TV, where you just need to press the buttons on the remote and stay on the sofa.
Then came the smartphones and above all our personal Avengers, the Social Networks. From that moment, everything has changed. All has been accomplished. Because while those ones, the loners with complicated speeches, had deluded themselves that the web was a way to unite everyone, someone else was less megalomaniac and more concrete, contenting himself to begin by bringing the few closer together, and at the same time dividing all the others.
Well, in a few years those few have become many, or perhaps they seem to, it does not change, while the ways in which to isolate and humiliate our opponents have increased dramatically. And since each of them has felt alienated by those who think like him, there is no need to lie about their real numbers. Because if someone feels a zero, the sum of the many will always give zero.
At the same time I discovered that being an intolerant user is like having super special powers. You can be whoever you want, have the name and the face you wish. And more than anything else, you can slander and offend anyone at any time.
But there is more. At the dawn of the last elections, the dream has come true beyond all expectations. Because as a viewer, voter and user, supporting the nationalist vision, I now know that I can aspire to a world made for myself.
Because offending and insulting others are manifestations of jokes.
Because the laws of the State and those of ethics are not only to be violated, but even rewritten for my use and consumption.
And because ignoring history, as well as expressing myself in a grotesque way and filling my speeches with lies, demonstrating an absolute lack of respect for the feelings and dignity of anyone, can make me acclaimed as a star.
Thanks to all of you for making me a proud citizen for what I used to feel ashamed of.



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